How To Lay A Flagstone Walkway

What You'll Need
A wheelbarrow or sack truck to move the flagstones
Sand or fine gravel for the base
A flat-edged spade to dig the walkway profile
Garden rake
Gardening gloves
Chalk dust

A flagstone walkway can introduce an attractive and functional feature into your garden or simply give access to your front door from the street. Wherever you want to put the walkway, you need to mark it out so you can get an idea how much flagstone to order. Laying the flagstone walkway is not difficult but does require physical effort.

Step 1 – Mark the Walkway

You can mark the position of the walkway with the chalk dust, which will not harm any plants. It is easy to see and soon washes away. Either pour the chalk dust from your hand or make a narrow neck in the bag to show the route and mark out the width. If you are installing the walkway in a lawn, sometimes wear and tear can indicate the appropriate position (where people regularly walk the same route).

Step 2 – Cut the Route

With your spade, dig a trench about two inches deep between the route markers. Don’t forget to roll the sod if you are going to use it elsewhere.

Step 3 – Level the Base

Using your garden rake ensures that the base you have just exposed is level and does not contain large stones just below the surface. Remove all weeds by the roots. This work won’t stop weeds from re-appearing but will delay them and give the flagstone walkway time to settle.

Step 4 – Install a Weed Barrier

If you want to ensure no weeds will grow through your walkway, line the route with heavy-gauge polythene sheeting, cut to size.

Step 5 – Lay Sand or Gravel

Cover the route of the flagstone walkway with about two inches of sand or fine gravel.

Step 6 – Compact the Base

Use a garden roller to ensure the base is compacted and even.

Step 7 – Start to Lay the Flagstones

Laying the stones is heavy work, but you can have fun at the same time by matching up different pieces to create the effect you want. The flagstones don't have to meet, but try not to leave gaps greater than 2 inches.

Step 8 – Check the Stones

Once you have correctly positioned the stone, walk over them in both directions to make sure they are all correctly seated and that there are no raised edges for people to trip over.

Step 9 – Add Optional Edging

If you are going to put edges on your walkway, do it now. But many walkways look fine without an edging, so you can also leave that decision until you see how the walkway matures.

Step 10 – Fill the Gaps

Fill all the gaps between the stones with sand or fine gravel. Keep leftover sand or gravel so you can later replace any that washes away.